Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Evergreen State Fair Part 1-Fiber

I'm breaking this into at least 4 parts (possibly more) due to the heavy photo content. Being a dial up internet user, I understand how frustrating it can be to load a page you want to see.....and have to wait FOREVER for the page to load because it's so heavy with graphics and photos. (Don't try to convince us to change to dsl or sattelite.....there are certain criteria that will have to be met for us to change. We'll wait....long story. ;) ) without further ado...I bring you the Evergreen State Fair!

I cannot believe that it was only last year, at this very fair, that I learned to spin. I've learned so much and had such fun in the last year...that it truely feels like I've been spinning fiber for a much longer time. (I remember as a child, taking undercoat from our Samoyed and twisting it into a thread and wondering if that would really "work". lol) In the last year I've learned how to make my own spindles, how to wash a fleece, how to card one (basically, still learning going on there), how to dye (using basic food colorings) my own fiber and yarn and how to make a true skein of yarn. Most of all, I've learned how to let myself like whatever it is I've produced.....because it's unique and mine! I'm still learning and enjoying this craft like crazy. It's extremely rewarding to take a (smelly by now) fleece out of a black plastic garbage bag, pick out the undesirable parts, wash up the rest, and either spin it up.....or dye it and then spin it into a usable yarn. There is not one day of the week that doesn't have at least a bit of fiber play in it. I can easily say that this is one of the best things in my life! In the last year I've gone from spinning on a CD Spindle, (given to me at fair) to making my own spindles (both in small and large sizes) to owning my own wheel. A wheel was something I said a year ago that I was unsure I wanted. I can't picture my craft area without it now! I don't spin every day, but I do some fiber related thing. Sometimes it's washing fleece, sometimes it's dyeing it, sometimes it's carding and amazingly enough....sometimes it's knitting. That is another thing I didn't do a year ago! It's fun to mark these accomplishments and say a "yippie for me" everyonce in awhile. The fabulous thing is that I know that I have SOOO much more to learn; and that, I think, is what keeps me interested. that was a "much further ado". Sorry. I lead into the first photos with that story because the first pics are of the hand spinning displays. This is where I learned. These (well some of them) ladies took their time, tools and fiber last year to show me how and encourage me in this wonderful craft. Without them, I'd be without these great accomplishments. Next year I hope to be there both as an exhibitor and as a volunteer showing someone else the joys of this craft.

This is the area that my guild works at the fair. It's in the sheep/goat barns and is a spot that many people learn the joys of fiber work. They go in to see the animals and are introduced to the other products made from animals.....besides food. I didn't sign up to work the fair for the guild this year as I'm still fairly new to the guild and I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make it to fair this year. Many of our guild members entered skeins of handspun yarn and completed projects for this years fair. I hope to be among their members next year. The shelves in the back of the photo are where they keep the fleece that is being judged. No one's allowed to touch it (because it's in the judging process) and to be honest....I didn't want to know if they were up for sale or not. It's too tempting! (I've got six more bags in the shed and they have at least two fleece in each bag! It's no time to be greedy!) There was a display showing basic knitting and there were baskets of roving for people to feel. This was right inside the barn door....could not be missed! Wonderful spot for us.

This handspun area is in the hand craft barn. (It's separate from the animals.) This is the area I learned to spin in. I was (of course) invited to join their guild, but they meet on Saturdays and I work it was a no go. Wonderful women tho! The exciting thing for me was to see the sweaters and ponchos and shawls that members from my guild entered. I saw these at guild meetings being created! And look at all those ribbons on the handspun yarn!!!!! Woo Hoo! It was great to recognize names from the group and be able to see thier sucess. I can't wait for the next guild should be a rockin good time with all the ribbons won!

Don did a great job getting me pictures of that shawl. I'm itching to knit one and that one won the top award! All of it was soo beautiful that I cannot imagine how hard it would be to be a judge there.

This whole display is knit/crochete/or felted from HANDSPUN! It took a bit for it to sink in for me. I even went to to the handwork area looking.....before it clicked. duh! lmao. The bright poncho was done by a gal in my guild. It was a "sheep to... finished project" that our guild did and I believe it was her first time doing the dyeing, spinning and knitting. I saw her model this and it was so exicting to see it on display with a ribbon on it! The green sweater is from our guild too. It has some really delicate cableing on it and
really....I'd like to have it. lol.

These were tucked away at the back of the display as thier owners were not working the fair at the time. The loom on the left was noted....but I'm avoiding the whole weaving thing at this tiem as I think that could well develope into an obsession too. (hehehe. See? I do have some control over myself!) The wheel on the left is very similar to the wheel that Julie loaned me to learn on. It may be an Ashford Traditional...not sure right now though. I had quite a laugh at the muck bucket full of roving though as I've got two of those in my craft area right now. heheheh Not all the roving I have is a delightfully colored though. I may have to work on that!

This was the last part of the display. I pointed it out to Don so he'd take a picture for me. The drum carder standing on end is a good sized one, but not really that large. The spinning wheel was so tiny and delicate looking that it just amazed me. Mines not that big either.....but this one just looked so small!

And here's the line up of the volunteers ready to show you how it's done. These lovely ladies were more than happy to chat with us and answer questions. I'm not a big question asker....Don is. He's much better at conversation than I am. (I can talk forever...don't get me wrong. He's just really good at asking questions and listening. I'm more of a look it up in a book or online person. lol. I think that comes from being the fourth child in line....I'm used to being told. lol) I was busy looking at the displays and the next thing I know he's in a discussion with this nice lady about her wheel. lol. Later it came out that I own a wheel and learned from them last year. I didn't hear the questions he I don't know what he know's that I don't now. I'm sure he's saving it for a later (endless....) discussion on wheels/spinning/fiber. lol Oh well, more power to him. lol He needs as much ammuntion as possible. ;)0.

Ok, that's it for the Fiber post......unless you want to count goats/sheep. That's another post. This one, I think, has enough pictures! ONWARD!

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Oh, April. That looks like so much fun and so inspiring. Thanks for sharing.